Pandora's Trimble says profitability "doable," Conrad discusses 1,000+ Pandora iterations, at CES

Monday, January 14, 2013 - 12:25pm

Pandora's CTO Tom Conrad and CRO John Trimble both took time at last week's CES to talk to media: Watch TechCrunch's interview with Conrad here and read AdAge's interview with Trimble here.

Conrad discussed the different development approaches for the now 1,000+ different interations of Pandora on desktops, mobile devices, consumer electronics devices, and automobiles. Trimble told AdAge that profitability is "doable" for Pandora, and so far the webcaster has focused more on building audience. He revealed that mobile advertising brings Pandora about $100 million a year, from 67 million monthly users -- now 55% of Pandora's revenue.

The webcaster announced at CES (see our coverage here) that its service is now integrated into Chrysler's new "Uconnect Access" in-dash system, making it Pandora's 20th U.S. automotive partner (including carmakers and after-market manufacturers). More than 85 different car models now are Pandora-capable.

Jacobs finds "the good and the bad" for radio at this week's CES

Friday, January 11, 2013 - 11:10am

Jacobs Media boss Fred Jacobs has a really nice round-up of his walk-through of this past week's Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas -- especially helpful as it's through the eyes of a radio industry pro.

[Of course, Jacobs & Co. had their own big news from CES, as jacAPPS is now Ford's "recommended mobile app development house" for the carmaker's in-dash SYNC AppLink system. See our coverage here.]

Jacobs found lots at CES about radio, both "the good and the bad:"

"Radio has a very solid place in today’s dashboards – and in the cars of the future," Jacobs writes. Yet, "there are still so few radio people here... Isn’t it time that radio joined the rest of the world and recognized that consumer electronics is at the epicenter of consumer and business for all of media?"

Read Fred Jacbos' blog on the CES here.

[Edit: "Hat tip" to our colleague Tom Taylor, who also reported on Fred Jacbos' CES blog here.]

Chevy, TuneIn, Rhapsody, Ford announce CES in-dash deals; Livio demo's new FM Connect

Tuesday, January 8, 2013 - 12:10pm

Yet even more deals announced at CES this week to bring Internet radio to cars!

Chevrolet has added web radio tuning service TuneIn to its MyLink system to bring the app to MyLink-equipped Chevy Sonics and Sparks. The automaker demo'd the new feature at CES.

And we've mentioned Ford and its SYNC Applink system a few times today. The automaker announced it's adding streaming music service Rhapsody to more than a million Ford and Lincoln vehicles, via SYNC. This is Rhapsody's first full integration with an automaker. Last month (and thus, not related to CES), Spotify announced it would connect with fellow Swedish company Volvo for in-dash operability.

Finally, Livio demonstrated its new technology, called FM Connect, designed to allow in-car FM radio listeners to safely interact with FM broadcasters and sponsors from the dashboard via a Bluetooth-connected smartphone. Livio is reportedly exiting the car radio kit market.

Aha widens its in-car footprint with new Ford, Subaru, Chrysler, Porsche, and Alpine deals

Tuesday, January 8, 2013 - 12:10pm

More from the world of in-car Internet radio that's been announced at this week's CES... Harman's Aha Radio service (see today's story on Chrysler Uconnect) connects drivers with web-based entertainment and information via its Cloud Platform in a radio-like format.

As the result of some newly-announced deals, by the end of the year, Harman says "Aha will be installed into vehicles by more than 10 auto manufacturers which in total represent more than 50% of all cars sold in the USA/Canada and up to 30% in Europe."

Those new deals: In addition to joining Chrysler's new Uconnect system, this week Aha announced its app was added by Ford to its SYNC Applink platform, by Porsche for its Online Services system, and by Subaru in its brand new STARLINK connectivity system. Additionally, Alpine Electronics will become Aha's third major aftermarket partner with new in-dash units. Kenwood is launching 12 cloud-connected head units featuring Aha, with more to follow throughout 2013. Pioneer was the first company to ship an Aha-enabled product back in 2011.

Aha Radio makes more than 30-thousand stations of audio programming available to customers, including new media partners AccuRadio, Deezer, Rdio, and SomaFM. Aha listeners can also tune in to content from OK!, Men's Fitness, Popular Science, Parenting, Shape, Star, TV Guide, Men's Health and more. (That image is from Car and Driver.)

jacAPPS says new deal with Ford will make sure b'dcasters don't get shut out of digital dashboard

Tuesday, January 8, 2013 - 12:10pm

The 2013 International Consumer Electronics Show (CES) runs today through Friday in Las Vegas, and we already have a torrent of announcements to report regarding in-car Internet radio.

The first is Ford Motor Company has named jacAPPS, the mobile app development division of radio consulting firm Jacobs Media, a "recommended mobile app development house" for its new Ford Developer Program. This means jacAPPS will develop, as well as work with other third-party developers, to create voice-activated smartphone apps for radio to work with Ford's SYNC AppLink.

The AppLink allows a driver to control digital apps from the steering wheel or using radio buttons. And while the audio entertainment available in such systems so far has been dominated by newer, digital services or apps that aggregate content, the new partnership "will allow AM/FM stations to have parity on the vehicle’s digital screen," says jacAPPS.

"Individual radio stations no longer have to be concerned about their place on the dashboards of 'connected cars' based on jacAPPS experience," read the jacAPPS announcement. "Beginning today, owners of Ford SYNC AppLink enabled vehicles will be able to access local radio station apps thanks to jacAPPS’ extensive experience working in radio to create mobile apps providing streaming capability and on-demand content services."

The company named broadcaster Greater Media its radio partner for the announcement. Sixteen of its station apps are now available with SYNC AppLink functionality.

Westergren to share his "vision for the future of radio" in keynote at CES 2013

Monday, September 17, 2012 - 9:00am

Tim WestergrenPandora founder and chief strategy officer Tim Westergren will deliver a keynote address at the 2013 Consumer Electronics Show (CES). He'll speak at the CES Leaders in Technology Dinner, an "invitation-only event" honoring "the top technologists, entrepreneurs and policymakers instrumental in furthering technology innovation," explains the Consumer Electronics Association (CEA).

CES, which takes place during January in Las Vegas, is reportedly the world's largest consumer electronics tradeshow. More than 150,000 people attended the 2012 show. President/CEO of eBay John Donahoe keynoted last year's Leaders in Technology Dinner, while 2011's dinner included a "fireside chat" between author/ journalist Arianna Huffington and Netflix CEO Reed Hastings.

Said CEA president and CEO Gary Shapiro: "Tim Westergren is a trailblazer in Internet radio and developed a game-changing, innovative platform...We are excited to have Tim keynote the 2013 CES LIT Dinner and look forward to hearing his vision for the future of radio."

You can find the CEA's press release here.

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